By David Woodward, Master

What a year! Who would have thought in March when the nation was in lockdown that we would still be fighting this nasty virus now? Do keep your chin up, though, as things will get better and we will defeat it, hopefully before too long.

Our Personal Support Grant scheme has kept us busy, helping literally hundreds of our industry colleagues who have been financially disadvantaged by COVID-19, like Layla.

Single parent Layla was made redundant from her customer service advisor job at Laura Ashley when the retailer sadly went into administration.

Layla immediately applied for universal credit as she needed to support her two children, but like many had to wait weeks before receiving anything.

Although she was given a redundancy pay out, it only just covered her rent and outgoings for a month, but fortunately kept the family afloat until universal credit kicked in.  Universal Credit now covers the family rent but she still has other outgoings to be met.

The charity was able to offer monthly support by way of a Personal Support Grant for a maximum of four months.  Our grant will not affect her welfare benefit calculations but will make a difference to the reduced household income while she looks for a new job.

Helping people like Layla is exactly what our charity is here is do. We anticipate that the need for this support will grow in the immediate future and will be needed for some time to come.

At the risk of seeming repetitive, if you haven’t signed up to One Step at a Time please do and encourage other businesses you work with to follow suit. It’s easy, it’s free and most importantly it’s effective in spreading the message that we are here ready able and willing to help.

For more tips and guidance on how to spread the word about out Personal Support Grants, please read this article.

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